Dan Quinn Looking to Add Some Kicking Competition

Koo

Getty Younghoe Koo #7 of the Atlanta Falcons kicks an onside kick.

The Atlanta Falcons are currently one player short of the maximum allowed for the NFL offseason. Their plan is to fill the 90th spot with another kicker.

Falcons head coach Dan Quinn spoke with the local media on Tuesday and said the team is still looking to add kicking competition for starter, Younghoe Koo.

“We’re still definitely considering adding a kicker into that spot,” Quinn said. “Like most things you can imagine some of those decisions involve workouts and things that aren’t at the space. We were pretty intentional, Thomas and myself, about not adding all the way up to 90 [players] on the day after [the NFL Draft]. You have some flexibility if opportunities came up post-draft to add guys to the team. But, yeah, that’s definitely still something that we’re looking into.”

Atlanta is also looking to bring in competition on the roster during training camp and throughout the season.

Koo Saves the Day

The first half of the 2019 season wasn’t pretty for the Falcons. They ended up cutting kicker Matt Bryant for not doing his job and handed it over to Giorgio Tavecchio. Tavecchio didn’t perform well either. The Falcons tried Bryant one more time. It didn’t work out for either of them, so the Falcons let them go and brought in Koo to save the day.

When Koo came on board in the middle of the season he did nothing but help the team. In just eight games Koo attempted a total of 23 field goals and made 23 of them. Eight of his attempts made were from 40-plus yards back. He also was 15 for 16 on extra-point attempts.

He was named NFC Special Teams Player of the week twice last. The first time was in Week 10 against the New Orleans Saints and then again in Week 14 when he recovered a fumble against the Carolina Panthers.

Some might call it luck, others say it’s a pure talent but the Falcon’s successfully recovered four onside kicks since Koo joined the team. However, two of those recoveries were called off due to penalties. Either way, luck or talent, you don’t see many kickers that are successful onside.

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Falcons Draft Punter/Kicker

For their final pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, the Falcons looked to former Syracuse punter, Sterling Hofricter. Falcons stuck to their plans for adding versatility players to the roster—Hofrichter can kick too.

He was one of the best punters in the country while at Cuse, putting over 30 punts inside the 20 and 11 inside the 10.

Hofrichter’s best asset is in his hang-time, and his ability to pin opponents back. At Cuse, he averaged 43.3 yards per punt, kicked an extra point, and three of four field goals which included an impressive 52-yarder. He also handled Cuse’s kickoffs. Hofricter even managed six tackles and forced a fumble.

He’ll have to refrain from tackling in the NFL in order to stay healthy. The Falcons will be able to use Hofricter in many ways if they can’t find the competition they’re looking for.

What’s Taking Falcons So Long to Sign Competition?

The coronavirus pandemic is making a lot of things difficult for the NFL offseason. Teams can’t hold live workouts yet so that’s one of the main reasons why the Falcons haven’t added a 90th player.

Players still haven’t been able to get their physicals done and rookies haven’t met their new teammates.

Things are starting to look up as the Falcons facilities in Flowery Branch are expected to open on Tuesday with precautions put in place. So, hopefully things can get back to normal soon and the team can form the bond they need before the 2020 season begins.

READ NEXT: Falcons’ QB1 a Dark-Horse NFL MVP Candidate for 2020


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